Maternal Enterovirus Infection during Pregnancy as a Risk Factor in Offspring Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes between 15 and 30 Years of Age

Elfving, Maria; Svensson, Johan; Oikarinen, Sami; Jonsson, Björn; Olofsson, Per; Sundkvist, Göran; Lindberg, Bengt; Lernmark, Åke; Hyöty, Heikki; Ivarsson, Sten-Anders
January 2009
Experimental Diabetes Research;2009, Special section p1
Academic Journal
Maternal enterovirus infections during pregnancy may increase the risk of offspring developing type 1 diabetes during childhood. The aim of this study was to investigate whether gestational enterovirus infections increase the offspring's risk of type 1 diabetes later in life. Serum samples from 30 mothers without diabetes whose offspring developed type 1 diabetes between 15 and 25 years of age were analyzed for enterovirus-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies and enterovirus genome (RNA), and compared to a control group. Among the index mothers, 9/30 (30%) were enterovirus IgM-positive, and none was positive for enterovirus RNA. In the control group, 14/90 (16%) were enterovirus IgM-positive, and 4/90 (4%) were positive for enterovirus RNA (n.s.). Boys of enterovirus IgM-positive mothers had approximately 5 times greater risk of developing diabetes (OR 4.63; 95% CI 1.22-17.6), as compared to boys of IgM-negative mothers (P < .025). These results suggest that gestational enterovirus infections may be related to the risk of offspring developing type 1 diabetes in adolescence and young adulthood.


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